media release (16-065MR)

Company director receives suspended jail sentence for failing to assist liquidator


Mr Joseph Cogno, director of Middlebrook Estate Pty Ltd has been sentenced  in the Adelaide Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to three charges brought by ASIC for failing to provide a Report as to Affairs and deliver books and records to the liquidator of the company.

Middlebrook Estate Pty Ltd was wound up by order of the Federal Court of Australia on 26 February 2014 on application of the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation.

Mr Cogno was convicted and sentenced on 1 March 2016 to a total of three months imprisonment, wholly suspended, upon entering into a good behaviour bond which included a condition that he complies with his obligations to the liquidator.

ASIC Commissioner Greg Tanzer said, 'If a company is placed into liquidation, the company officers and other related individuals have a statutory obligation to provide assistance to the liquidator. This is an important part of maximising the opportunity for returns to creditors and identifying any misconduct which may have contributed to the company's collapse.

'ASIC will act against company directors and other officeholders who fail to meet their obligations once a company has been placed into liquidation', Mr Tanzer said.

In 2014–15, ASIC successfully prosecuted 355 individuals for 680 offences relating to this type of misconduct, resulting in fines of approximately $915,000.

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